I got news for you. You are not in sales. I’m not sure when it happened, but real estate sales people were abolished by the general public years ago. I’m with you, I didn’t even know it was happening until it was too late too, but read on there is good news!
Good news is that you still have a job, but what your future clients expect of you has changed. The way to sell today is through service! The agents who have the best service and create the most value are your direct competition, not the largest brokerage in your area. You are also competing against technology and “less expensive” options.
What’s happening in the real estate industry is no different than what’s been happening in just about every industry. I encourage you to look at Zappos, Xfinity, or any other brand and look at their marketing strategy.
They are bulking up on customer service.
Why The Real Estate Industry Needs To Put It’s Focus On Service…
The internet made information about properties for sale easily accessible, which empowered consumers. The flow of information has totally changed, which has changed the way business is done today. Consumers used to need us to access that information, but not anymore.
Don’t believe me?
Have you ever heard of a company called Zillow?
Zillow has won the information game, but they will never compete in the service game. At the end of the day people hire you because of the experience. They don’t want to do all the running around taking a contract to the closing table. They also don’t want to guess as to whether or not they are making a wise investment. They are hiring you for that expertise.
We all know how accurate Zestimates are.
One of our biggest challenges is educating the public in the value of working with a Realtor. When you do a poor job with any client, it’s a reflection on our overall industry. A poor consumer experience creates interest in exploring the “less expensive” options.
Most Realtors get mad when they hear competition has arrived, but I get excited! Competition is what makes this country great to begin with. It forces innovation and with that comes better products or services.
This is going to be tough to hear, but the truth is buyers and sellers no longer need us.
They can easily go onto the Internet and find out anything they want to without you. They can also do it for less money too.
You might think they need you, but they don’t.
They choose to use you. Actually they want to use you, but only if you are worth your fees.
Consumers can find out anything they want without us today, but that doesn’t mean we are worthless because there are certain areas no technology can ever compete with us in and that’s in service!
Yes customer service. I know it doesn’t sound sexy, but trust me it’s the sexiest part of marketing you can implement right now because it’s crushing it more than that latest Facebook ads campaign you just saw on your feed connected to that super duper email auto responder.
Let me explain…
There are only 3 reasons why we still have a job and are not like the travel agencies of the 90’s. The real estate industry could very well head that way if we don’t do something about as a whole, but hear me out.
What can we do that technology cannot?
Why do people still choose to use Realtors when they can potentially get a discount not using them?
I like to go to a special barber in my neighborhood. I don’t have a lot of hair you can check out my mugshot so it’s not like one place cuts my hair better than the other. I don’t need a perm or highlights either.
The barber I go to is $28 bucks with a tip.
I can also go a block from my house and visit a Super Cuts for about $10 less, but I choose to go to the barber shop and pay more.
I love how they shave my neck with a razor. They go extra clean and my fade looks tight when I get out of there. The length is always perfect too. Most people wouldn’t notice it, but I do.
I’d rather pay more money and go to the place I prefer the service delivered. I don’t care about the extra money because I see value in that.
I like to eat tacos and it’s not because I’m Mexican, I really love tacos . I have two taco places I like to eat at that are complete opposites, but I’d rate their tacos about the same.
Taco place numero uno is your typical fast food taco stand. You go in and order your food and it comes out, You eat and bounce.
Taco place numero dos is a full out restaurant. They have great service, drinks, and food, but the tacos are double the price.
If it’s a Thursday or Friday around 4-5 pm and if I feel like getting my taco on, I’m going to the more expensive option because I’m looking for more than just some good grub. I’m looking for an experience.
When I’m hungry and just need to put something my stomach to get me through my next appointment I’ll go the less expensive option.
The point I’m trying to make here is that both of these places have good food and I don’t have a preference as to which I would visit except for if I’m looking for an experience or not. When I go the more expensive option I am investing more money to have a better time. The other experience is quite the opposite. I’m just trying to get through the day and need a quick bite.
What does this have to do with real estate?
You see, the level of service you provide is your “food”. You must have good food to succeed today because everything you do revolves around the service you provide.
Since we no longer control the flow of information, the only thing we can control is the consumer experience. We all know there is a lot to buying and selling real estate, but the general public doesn’t. Just because something costs less does not make it a better value simply on price alone.
“The agents and flat fee brokerages who discount their commissions today is only because they lack value to justify the regular rate. In other words, their ‘food’ sucks”
Buying or selling a house is one of the largest financial decisions anyone will make in their lifetime so do you really think they want to fuck that up with saving a few bucks to fill their stomach?
The paradigm shift is here so if you want to compete against technology or “value lacking agents”, do it through service. I’d like to define the 3 things we will always have that NOBODY can compete with.
- Local Expertise– How accurate are Zestimates? Ok that’s what I thought. There isn’t a technology that exists today that can analyze values inside and out. You must become a local expert on everything in your area from schools to new developments.
- Facilitation– Become an expert in the facilitation of real estate. You deliver your service with how you handle the transaction from pending to closed. We call this having effective Transactional Marketing Systems set up.
- You must become a better marketer– Yes, you need to acquire new skills. The MLS is no longer your secret weapon. We all know the key to success is listings so it should be your goal to get more of them. If your listing marketing plan is popping a sign in the yard and listing it on the MLS, you are part of the problem. Get better and invest the time and energy to adapt to what the market is asking of us. If that’s’ your model then why wouldn’t people just go right to Red fin.?
Shit just got real! Adapt and adjust! Invest in your skills. Invest in your process.
The one thing I know is that we cannot count on NAR to have our backs. You shouldn’t even count on your brokerage. You are a small business owner so find the best recipe and start serving that good food!